The Marquise de Pezay and the Marquise de Rougé

2 May 2020

Today’s painting by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun is her gorgeous 1787 portrait of Caroline de Murat, Marquise de Pezay, on the left in blue, with her best friend, Nathalie-Victurnienne-Delphine de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Marquise de Rougé, who commissioned the painting, and her two sons Alexis and Adrien de Rougé. Both of the young women were widows and were very much in favour at court where they befriended Madame Vigée Le Brun. They escaped the revolution after emigrating together to Germany in 1791.

When this painting was exhibited at the Salon in 1787 it was hailed as an exaltation of the virtues of both friendship and family and was likened to representations of the Holy Family.

(It now resides in the National Gallery of Art in Washington.)

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